California schools in trouble with state because teachers helped students cheat on tests

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TORRANCE, Calif. – Several California schools will lose their state rating, making them ineligible for state recognition, because some of their  teachers were caught helping students on standardized tests last spring.
California schoolsState officials also disqualified test results at dozens of other schools for a variety of reasons, including leaked test questions and answers posted on social media sites, the Daily Breeze reports.

At Norma Coombs Alternative School in Pasadena, a third-grade teacher was busted for helping 21 during standardized testing this May, which school officials reported to the state.

Because the number of students affected is more than 5 percent, the state threw out the school’s Academic Performance Index rating, which means “the schools are ineligible to receive statewide recognition, such as the highly prized distinguished school award,” the Daily Breeze reports.

The schools could also face sanctions – such as a loss of funding or removal of school staff – if they fail to achieve the performance goals over several years, the LA Times reports.

“The teacher allegedly told students to change incorrect answers,” according to the news site. “When confronted by … officials, the teacher initially denied the allegation, but then admitted she told at least one student: ‘You changed your answers, make sure you check them in the text,’ according to the report,” according to the Daily Breeze.

The teacher also allegedly pointed out questions students should focus more closely on.

In a different incident, a fifth-grade teacher at Hickory Elementary School took a much craftier approach to helping his students along.

“When a student asked about the word ‘seldom,’ the teacher replied: ‘Well … I seldom know the answer to that,’” the LA Times reports.

Other schools with testing problems included Kennedy Elementary and Walton Middle School in Compton, William McKinley Elementary in Burbank, Piute Middle School in Lancaster, Mar Vista Middle School in San Diego, Arroyo Elementary in Ontario, and others, the LA Times reports.

According to the Daily Breeze, “Students at 16 state public schools posted the questions and answers from the … test to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. An additional 226 schools were named as campuses where test materials other than questions and answers, such as test booklet covers, were posted on social media.”

In total, 27 California schools lost their API rating, which is an increase of four schools from last year, the Times reports.

By Victor Skinner at EAGnews.org

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